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Second, do not write claims that make no sense on their own. While narrative writing and speaking requires the use of pronouns and other short-hand phrases, for planning purposes we should write more precisely. The following example, for instance, is incorrect:

1 Matthew Allen is the author of a book on reasoning.

2 He works at Curtin University.

3 This is a short, practically oriented book.

Using 'he' and 'this' are confusing. You need to use the appropriate nouns, as in the following example:

1 Matthew Allen is the author of a book on reasoning.

2 Matthew Allen works at Curtin University.

3 The book on reasoning that Matthew Allen wrote is short and practically oriented.

Third, avoid mistakes in diagramming the interrelationship of claims. Some mistakes in this area are the result of not understanding clearly what you want to say—later chapters will help you to overcome these mistakes. Other mistakes result from not grasping the meaning of the diagram symbols. Here are two examples. First of all, imagine I had argued that:

1 Reasoning skills should be taught more in Australian schools [as my conclusion].

2 Reasoning is a key skill which all people should know about [as my premise].

It would be incorrect to diagram their relationship thus:

Although I have written the conclusion first, the only place for a conclusion in the diagram is below the premise(s) that support it. The [si] symbol indicates a logical relationship (in this case, 'because 2, therefore 1') and not the order in which you would write or say these claims.

Now imagine my argument was more complex:

1 Reasoning skills should be taught more in Australian schools.

2 Reasoning is a key skill which all people should know about.

3 Schools should teach people the key skills which they need.

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